Audrey, a female Masai giraffe from Santa Barbara Zoo in California, gave birth to a healthy female calf Wednesday afternoon.
In a public statement issued by the zoo, we learn that the newborn calf measures 6 feet and 1 inch tall and weighs roughly 180 pounds.
Image Credit: Santa Barbara Zoo/Twitter
“This was the fastest birth Audrey has had,” noted Michele Green, the Curator of Mammals at Santa Barbara Zoo.
“It was smooth and progressed well, and the calf stood up and was nursing in only two hours. Audrey is calm, and this calf appears to be figuring things out very quickly. We couldn’t be happier for mom and baby.”
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The calf hasn’t received an official named yet, but the zoo is now accepting public votes from a pool of suggested names conceived by zoo staff. Among those available for selection are Amirah, Makena, Nugget, and Quintin.
Furthermore, the unnamed calf isn’t available for public viewing just yet as it’s bonding with its mother behind closed doors and receiving veterinary care to ensure proper health. On the other hand, the zoo says that could all change this coming week if weather permits.
As it would seem, Audrey is an experienced giraffe mother. That said, zoo staff do not foresee any issues with raising the calf. Once she receives an official name and comes out of hiding, she should quickly become a part of the zoo’s giraffe display.
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Masai giraffes are native to parts of Kenya and Tanzania, and there are an estimated 37,000 individuals in the wild today. Unfortunately, that number continues to plummet as present-day issues like habitat loss and poaching take their course.
Fully-grown, a Masai giraffe can grow to be 17 feet tall and weigh up to 2,700 pounds.
Source: Santa Barbara Zoo